BOYS review at the New Diorama Theatre
As a woman, I am forever questioning the mystery of man…
But surely the messages boys are fed from an early age about the world’s perceptions of manhood must be very confusing. It can’t be easy to navigate the expectations of masculinity perpetuated by society, or the strong cultural beliefs that perpetuate endemic behaviours.
So what a breath of fresh air it was to see Kane Husband’s remarkable show BOYS, at the New Diorama Theatre. It is a truly beautiful, honest and raw celebration of manhood – and everything that makes boys be boys – presented in a series of energetic, interconnecting themed scenes depicting the full range of human emotion, which had me laughing, crying – and everything in between.
The Pappy Show is an ensemble physical theatre company formed by Kane Husbands in 2013 to bridge a gap by providing a space for actors to train in physical theatre, using play and physical exercise to create exciting new theatre work.
Here, nine highly talented young men from culturally diverse backgrounds take the stage for a playful rollercoaster ride full of songs, games, dance and acrobatics, inviting the audience to bear witness to their understanding and experiences of being a boy and a man.
The process explores their heritage, through a game called the Map of the World, where we fleeting visit family members from across the globe. We watch individuals compete, showing off their party tricks and physical prowess, we share the joys of success – and also how it feels to fail or be left out. We observe a loving relationship grow and break in a poignant duet, we feel their pride and their shame; we see the journey from child, to adolescent, through to man.
Most drama classes and workshops start with games, which are a brilliant way to create connections and form cohesion as they unlock the imagination, provoke and give permission to play. This show is all about play, trust and exploration, breaking down barriers to deconstruct definitions of masculinity in complex and nuanced ways that don’t confine them to socially constructed pink and blue scripts. BOYS explores violence, sex, status, aggression, sexuality and love – and it manages to do all of this with wonderful candor, revealing tenderness and vulnerability in each and every one of the cast. It was quite brilliant – and very moving.
But this engaging show is not without a lot of humour, energy and plenty of fun, as together these nine young men lead us on a journey exploring life’s experiences and the very core of what motivates us as human beings.
BOYS is playing at the New Diorama Theatre, an 80 seat theatre based just off Regent’s Park in the heart of central London. This unique theatre is known for their development and support of early and mid-career theatre companies and ensembles.
BOYS is definitely one to catch….. And watch out too for the Pappy Show’s production of GIRLS…I certainly am!
New Diorama Theatre,
15 – 16 Triton Street,
London, NW1 3BF
Phone: 020 7383 9034